Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

An extraordinary battered sole

On a menu of lovely Thai dishes, a simple stir fry stands out

Batter fried sole makes this cashew stir fry a winner
Batter fried sole makes this cashew stir fry a winner

Turns out, I’ve been ordering cashew chicken all wrong. I’ve been doing so since my picky teens, when I was the opposite of an adventurous eater at Chinese and Thai restaurants. Probably for that reason, it almost feels boring when I ask for the simple stir fry now, though I know intellectually it shouldn’t. Cashews are awesome.

Place

Chi Extraordinary Kitchen

2789 Adams Ave, San Diego

But what’s more awesome is eating the cashew stir fry at Chi Extraordinary Kitchen, except with crispy fried sole fillet rather than chicken. I spotted the option a few weeks ago and, because I’d never knowingly eaten sole in a Thai dish before, ordering it felt simultaneously familiar, and like I was expanding my horizons.

The dining room of Chi Extraordinary Kitchen

I haven’t stopped craving it since. I could call it my new favorite dish in San Diego, but it’s really more of an addiction. When I’m not eating it, I’m scheduling times I might sneak away to eat it. The words, “cashew sole,” aren’t likely to generate clicks on a trend-obsessed internet, but this dish has me lark raving happy, and I highly recommend it.

Steamed sole and broccoli quickly stir fried with garlic and pepper

Chi shares an owner with Plumeria Vegetarian Restaurant, another really great Thai spot nearby on Park Boulevard. When I first tried Plumeria, I recall wondering, I wonder how good this stuff would be if the restaurant cooked with meat? Chi Extraordinary Kitchen is the answer to that question.

Located just around the corner from Thai sister restaurant Plumeria Vegetarian

It’s probably best to point out the actual cashew chicken here is no slouch. The restaurant says it uses jidori chicken, the free range Japanese chicken raised clean enough it may be eaten raw. Chi cooks it well, and I’ve enjoyed it both in in their from-scratch Thai curries and rice noodle dishes.

But since I liked the fried sole so much, I decided to try the other sole option — steamed sole — in the garlic pepper stir fry. While the entrée is heavier on the garlic than I tend to prefer, it tasted fresh right down to the bright green steamed broccoli to go with the incredibly tender steamed filets of fish. The bulk of the menu seems to taste healthy and fresh thanks to terrific ingredients, including pad se ew, pad thai, an array of fish from whole pampano to salmon.

But it’s the fried sole, stir fried bell peppers, cashews, carrots, and celery I keep going back for. The crispy batter on the fried fish adds savory punch cashew chicken has been missing my whole life. It may be for the best I never had a dish like this as a teen: I might have been satisfied enough to order it forever, and then I never would have tried larb.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Encinitas, not a neighborhood but a kingdom

Bicyclists, roundabouts, low-income-housing, Swami's, who was Yogananda, sea bluffs, condos raffled, Moonlight Beach,
Next Article

Craft & Commerce gets fast foodie

The Little Italy restaurant re-opens by riffing on fast food mainstays
Batter fried sole makes this cashew stir fry a winner
Batter fried sole makes this cashew stir fry a winner

Turns out, I’ve been ordering cashew chicken all wrong. I’ve been doing so since my picky teens, when I was the opposite of an adventurous eater at Chinese and Thai restaurants. Probably for that reason, it almost feels boring when I ask for the simple stir fry now, though I know intellectually it shouldn’t. Cashews are awesome.

Place

Chi Extraordinary Kitchen

2789 Adams Ave, San Diego

But what’s more awesome is eating the cashew stir fry at Chi Extraordinary Kitchen, except with crispy fried sole fillet rather than chicken. I spotted the option a few weeks ago and, because I’d never knowingly eaten sole in a Thai dish before, ordering it felt simultaneously familiar, and like I was expanding my horizons.

The dining room of Chi Extraordinary Kitchen

I haven’t stopped craving it since. I could call it my new favorite dish in San Diego, but it’s really more of an addiction. When I’m not eating it, I’m scheduling times I might sneak away to eat it. The words, “cashew sole,” aren’t likely to generate clicks on a trend-obsessed internet, but this dish has me lark raving happy, and I highly recommend it.

Steamed sole and broccoli quickly stir fried with garlic and pepper

Chi shares an owner with Plumeria Vegetarian Restaurant, another really great Thai spot nearby on Park Boulevard. When I first tried Plumeria, I recall wondering, I wonder how good this stuff would be if the restaurant cooked with meat? Chi Extraordinary Kitchen is the answer to that question.

Located just around the corner from Thai sister restaurant Plumeria Vegetarian

It’s probably best to point out the actual cashew chicken here is no slouch. The restaurant says it uses jidori chicken, the free range Japanese chicken raised clean enough it may be eaten raw. Chi cooks it well, and I’ve enjoyed it both in in their from-scratch Thai curries and rice noodle dishes.

But since I liked the fried sole so much, I decided to try the other sole option — steamed sole — in the garlic pepper stir fry. While the entrée is heavier on the garlic than I tend to prefer, it tasted fresh right down to the bright green steamed broccoli to go with the incredibly tender steamed filets of fish. The bulk of the menu seems to taste healthy and fresh thanks to terrific ingredients, including pad se ew, pad thai, an array of fish from whole pampano to salmon.

But it’s the fried sole, stir fried bell peppers, cashews, carrots, and celery I keep going back for. The crispy batter on the fried fish adds savory punch cashew chicken has been missing my whole life. It may be for the best I never had a dish like this as a teen: I might have been satisfied enough to order it forever, and then I never would have tried larb.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

A taste of New Orleans on the corner of Louisiana Street

Louisiana Purchase offers chargrilled oysters, gumbo, and fried crab legs
Next Article

The optional surcharge of Trust Restaurant Group

A dollar oyster happy hour and four percent living wage fee
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close